Mahfuz Emran: The average cost of electricity production has increased by about 73 percent in one and a half years. Due to increase in dollar exchange rate, high-capacity charges of new generation large power plants, increase in coal and fuel oil prices in the international market, increase in gas prices in the country, this expenditure has gone out of control. As a result, the shortfall in production cost cannot be dealt with even by raising the bulk price of electricity twice. Due to this, the Power Development Board (PDB) is going to face a record deficit in the current financial year.
This information was presented in a recent meeting with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation. It can be seen that PDB’s loss in the current financial year will be Tk 46,275.30 crore. However, PDB believes that the losses will reduce slightly in the next financial year due to the decrease in the prices of coal and fuel oil in the international market. In this, the loss for the financial year 2023-24 has been estimated at Tk 38,688.70 crore.
However, if the dollar exchange rate is fixed according to the IMF conditions, the losses will increase in the next financial year. However, if the price of electricity is increased further, the losses will be reduced again. According to sources, PDB’s losses were much lower even two years ago. In the financial year 2020-21, the company counted losses of Tk 11,509.12 crore. However, in the financial year 2021-22, the company’s losses increased almost two and a half times to Tk 31,008.32 crore.
According to the PDB report, the company’s total electricity sales (probable) in the current fiscal year will be eight thousand 543 million kilowatt hours. For this, the fuel cost will be Tk 55,892.60 crore. And non-energy (capacity charge and power plant maintenance) expenditure will be Tk 37,222.40 crore. That is, the total production cost will be Tk 93,115 crores. The average production cost of electricity is Tk 10.90.
Meanwhile, currently the bulk price of electricity is Tk 6.70. However, at the beginning of the financial year, this rate was Tk 5.80. After an increase of about 31 percent in two phases, the average selling price of electricity stood at Tk 5.94. As a result, PDB’s potential income from selling electricity in the current financial year will be Tk 50,675.10 crores. Apart from this, Tk 1,281.50 crore of power sector development fund and Tk 2,554 crores of six percent advance income tax will be deducted. In this, the average supply price of electricity will increase to Tk 11.64. Excluding all expenses, PDB’s potential loss for the current financial year may be Tk 46,275.30 crores.
Although the average cost of power generation of PDB last financial year was Tk 8.54. And 2020-21 financial year was Tk 6.30. In those two fiscal years, the bulk selling price of electricity was Tk 5.80 and Tk 5.12 respectively. In other words, last financial year, the loss has increased due to the increase in production cost. In the current financial year, the production cost will increase further and the losses will also increase.
According to the information, PDB’s electricity sales in the financial year 2021-22 was 8,382,330,000 kilowatt hours. The total cost was Tk 71,584.84 crore. And he earned Tk 40,576.52 crore by selling electricity. That is, PDB’s loss in the last financial year stood at Tk 31,008.32. And in fiscal year 2020-21, seven thousand 852 crore 56 lakh kilowatt hours of electricity is sold. The total expenditure was Tk 49,237.44 crore. And in that financial year PDRIB income is Tk 37,728.32 crore. In this, the loss of the organization stands at Tk 11,509.12 crore.
Several senior officials of PDB told on condition of anonymity that PDB used to incur losses in a year, but now losses are close to that in a month. While bulk electricity prices were hiked twice in December and February, the unusual rise in gas prices pushed up spending at a higher rate. Again Tk 85 dollar is now Tk 107 (bank rate). Due to these reasons, the production cost of electricity cannot be controlled. As a result, the increase in electricity prices is not getting much benefit.
They also said that several new large power plants have come into production or are coming up. This will increase the cost due to capacity charges. Because of this, the cost of electricity production will increase. Again, it is being said that the exchange rate of the dollar will be specified according to the conditions of the IMF. If the dollar exchange rate increases by one taka, PDB’s loss will increase to about Tk 600 crore. Therefore, the actual situation of the next financial year cannot be assumed to be the same. However, if everything remains unchanged, the loss will decrease in the next financial year.
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